Pence and other supporters of the law contend discrimination claims are overblown and insist it will keep the government from compelling people to provide services they find objectionable on religious grounds. They also maintain that courts haven't allowed discrimination under similar laws covering the federal government and 19 other states.
But state Rep. Ed DeLaney, an Indianapolis Democrat, said Indiana's law goes further than those laws and opens the door to discrimination. "This law does not openly allow discrimination, no, but what it does is create a road map, a path to discrimination," he told the crowd, which stretched across the south steps and lawn of the Statehouse. "Indiana's version of this law is not the same as that in other states. It adds all kinds of new stuff and it moves us further down the road to discrimination."
Zach Adamson, a Democrat on Indianapolis' City-County Council, said to cheers that the law has nothing to do with religious freedom but everything to do with discrimination. "This isn't 1950 Alabama; it's 2015 Indiana," he told the crowd, adding that the law has brought embarrassment on the state.
On Saturday, the founder of Angie's List said the consumer review service is suspending its plans for a $40 million expansion in Indianapolis because of Indiana's new religious objections law.